Posts Tagged ‘Dan Chiasson’
September 3, 2013 | by The Paris Review
Since 1953, a central mission of The Paris Review has been the discovery of new voices. Why? It’s not just a matter of wanting to lead the pack or provide publishers with fresh blood. In “The Poet” Emerson wrote, “the experience of each new age requires a new confession.” That’s our idea, too.
Even by TPR standards, our Fall issue is full of new confessions. Readers will remember Ottessa Moshfegh, the winner of this year’s Plimpton Prize. We think our other fiction contributors—and most of our poets—will be new to you. They certainly caught us off guard.
We also have new kinds of work from writers you do know—a photography portfolio curated by Lydia Davis, and a project more than twenty years in the works: Jonathan Franzen’s translation of Karl Kraus, including some of the most passionate footnotes we’ve encountered since Pale Fire.
Find an interview with groundbreaking writer Ursula K. Le Guin:
A lot of twentieth-century— and twenty-first-century—American readers think that that’s all they want. They want nonfiction. They’ll say, I don’t read fiction because it isn’t real. This is incredibly naive. Fiction is something that only human beings do, and only in certain circumstances. We don’t know exactly for what purposes. But one of the things it does is lead you to recognize what you did not know before.
The Art of Nonfiction with Emmanuel Carrère:
Your first impulse is to be terribly embarrassed by the other’s suffering, and you don’t know what to do, and then there’s the moment when you stop asking yourself questions and you just do what you have to do.
All this plus new poems by former Paris Review editors Dan Chiasson, Charles Simic, and Frederick Seidel.
April 17, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
July 31, 2012 | by Casey N. Cep
When John Ashbery reviewed Elizabeth Bishop’s Complete Poems in 1969 for The New York Times, his review was accompanied by an illustration: two giant snails stretching from under their shells to touch one another. Ashbery never mentions the mollusks in his review, but beneath the image is an excerpt of Bishop’s prose poem “Giant Snail.”
“I give the impression of mysterious ease, but it is only with the greatest effort of my will,” Bishop’s mollusca persona muses, and one senses how very likely a proxy it is for the poet herself.
Bishop is not the only writer to have found solace or some of herself in a snail. Her coil-shelled critter was an homage to a paean by her mentor Marianne Moore. Moore’s “To a Snail” is a discourse on poetics that culminates “in the absence of feet” and “the curious phenomenon of your occiptal horn.” Moore seized on the snail’s self-sufficiency and endless ability to contract, praising its “grace” and “modesty.”
August 11, 2011 | by Don Share
These poems by Don Share bring surprising music and thrilling turns of mind to the matter of everyday life. We especially liked the eerie litany of woebegone objects in “Rice in the Spoon”: “Sea glass beached / on a porch bench” or, better yet, “A brown bust / of a sad man.” Whether Jethro Tull’s Aqualung is or is not a classic is a question Share’s readers are left to settle for themselves. —Dan Chiasson
July 14, 2011 | by Lorin Stein
You’re probably still in bed, or finishing up a short story, but here in Paris it’s four o’clock; across the street from my hotel the bells of Nôtre Dame are playing “Three Blind Mice”; and I owe you an update from the Ville-Lumière.
It’s my first time here in years, since the indoor smoking ban in fact, but no sooner did I get through customs than I started craving a cigarette. I think it must be the strain of reading airport signs in French. This craving intensified in the taxi. By the time I got through breakfast at a tourist café on Saint Germain—jambon beurre, three cafés crèmes—it was time for a Gauloise Blonde and a nap.
My hosts at Shakespeare & Co. kindly booked me a room around the corner from the famous shop. Mine is the best room the Hotel Esmeralda has to offer, and one of the highest, smelling faintly but not unpleasantly of blow-dryer and dead mouse. It is five flights up. Reaching the top of the stairs, I dropped my bag, conked out, and dreamed of Robert Silvers: he had climbed up after me to inquire about an essay he had written on the early history of The Paris Review—an essay slated to run in our last issue, but it hadn’t.
This anxiety dream is easy to explain. You see, on the flight over I’d been reading a doctoral dissertation, Enterprise in the Service of Art: A Critical History of The Paris Review, 1953–1973, in preparation for my talk at the bookstore: “The Paris Review: Past, Present, Future.” I had taken plenty of notes, but nothing that added up to a talk.
June 29, 2011 | by Tayve Neese
This is Tayve Neese’s unsettling poem “Because my daughters are growing.” The children’s refrain (“Oh, Spider Mother”) about their mother turns out, in that unforgettable final turn, to prefigure their own (potential) futures as mothers, “a small life” inside them that "struggles like an angry fly.” Good poems change what we see: the next time I see a pregnant woman, thanks (I think!) to Neese, that’s what I will see. —Dan Chiasson